Adam Bennett, the UK's most successful Bocuse d'Or candidate, will once again compete against some of the best chefs in the world as he prepares for the European final in Stockholm in May.
The head chef of Michelin-starred Simpsons in Edgbaston, who is about to open his own pub-restaurant the Cross at Kenilworth, achieved the best result ever for a UK candidate.
When he competed in the Bocuse d'Or finals this January, supported by fellow Simpsons' chef and 2013 Acorn Award winner Kristian Curtis, Team UK brought home two awards and placed fourth out of 24 countries.
Founded in 1987 by Paul Bocuse, the Bocuse d'Or is the world's most prestigious chef contest and many of the world's best chefs sit on the judging panel. To compete at this level requires months of preparation and several previous winners have taken 12 months off work to practise.
However, Bennett's plans to head up a new pub restaurant, backed by restaurateur and mentor, Andreas Antona, and has a busy wife and young daughter which meant the decision to compete again was not taken lightly.
Bennett commented: "The Bocuse d'Or was an incredible journey and we learnt so much in the process - however I have other things going on right now which I also need to focus on. I've spent the last few months considering the prospect of doing it all again and I only made the decision when I felt 100% comfortable that I could do it whilst running my own restaurant.
"Thanks to organisations such as University College Birmingham and our generous sponsors, we now have better support than ever and having gone through the experience before I have a better handle on things. We have strong teams both at the Cross and in the Bocuse d'Or UK committee which will enable me to combine the two roles seamlessly."
Brian Turner, CBE, Team UK judge and President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, said: "Adam put in a fantastic performance this year and we are delighted to have him back on board. There's no denying the challenge ahead but we have every confidence that he's the best man for the job."
The European final of the Bocuse d'Or will take place on 7-8 May 2014. Only the top 12 placed teams will be sure of a place in the world final, which takes place at Sirha in Lyon in January 2015.